Depp v Heard: Actress says libel trial 'most painful thing I have ever gone through'

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Actress Amber Heard has said the defamation trial against Johnny Depp is the "most painful and difficult thing I have ever gone through".

Taking the stand for the first time, Heard said: "I struggle to find the words to describe how painful this is."

"This is horrible for me. To sit here for weeks and relive everything... hear people that I knew - some well, some not - my ex-husband, speak about our lives in the way that they have," she said.

She began by telling the court about her childhood, moving to Los Angeles, and meeting Depp.

Depp v Amber live: A big day in court

Asked about The Rum Diary, the film during which she first met Depp, she said he told her "You're it kid, you're the dream" in reference to her role as the film's love interest.

She said during the filming that professional boundaries began to get blurred.

"We had a kissing scene and it didn't feel like a normal scene anymore, it felt real," she said.

She said actors maintain certain rules - "You don't use your tongue" - and "it just felt like those lines were blurred".

"He grabbed my face and pulled me into him and really kissed me," she added.

Assaulted with a liquor bottle

It is the first time Heard, the ex-wife of Depp, has spoken during the multi-million dollar defamation trial, with both stars filing claims against each other following their short-lived marriage.

Depp's final witness took the stand, and his legal team rested their case on Tuesday, the 13th day of the trial. He alleges that Heard libelled him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse.

Warning - this article contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse which some may find disturbing

Heard's first witness, a forensic psychologist, took the stand and told the court the actress was physically and sexually abused by Depp.

Dr Dawn Hughes' testimony began after some drama in the courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, as Heard's team argued for the trial to be dismissed entirely, something that was denied by Judge Penney Azcarate.

After testimony earlier in the day from a financial expert - who estimated Depp had suffered lost earnings of about $40m - things took a darker turn as Dr Hughes told the court of Heard's reports of physical and sexual abuse.

This became quite graphic at times and Heard looked visibly upset as the psychologist went through the details.

The actress suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the violence she allegedly suffered at the hands of her ex-husband, with sexual assaults including being forced to perform oral sex and having Depp penetrate her with a liquor bottle, Dr Hughes told the court.

Her testimony contradicts that of a psychologist hired by Depp's lawyers, who claim Heard faked her PTSD and suffered from borderline and histrionic personality disorders.

Dr Hughes said there is corroboration of many instances of abuse, including apologies made by Depp to Heard and admissions he made to friends in text messages about his bad behaviour when he drinks.

'Let's drown her before we burn her'

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50m for defamation. She, in turn, is counter-suing him for $100m, saying the Pirates of the Caribbean actor smeared her by calling her a liar.

Over four days of testimony, Depp said that Heard was the abuser in the relationship and once threw a vodka bottle that severed his finger.

Read more:
Why are Depp and Heard in court?
Graphic texts and photos written in blood

In their cross-examination, Heard's attorneys introduced text messages and audio recordings of Depp using graphic
language and insulting Heard.

"Let's drown her before we burn her," he allegedly said in one text message to actor Paul Bettany, adding "I will f**k her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead."

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